Monday, May 26, 2014

Who Are You? Guest Blog by DiAnn Mills

Who are You?
Yesterday morning while reading John 1:19-28, I studied the passage where John was baptizing in the Jordan River. Priests and Levites approached him with their own agenda, mostly about who he was. Each time a question was posed and John replied, their tone seemed to take on more arrogance and sarcasm.
In verse 22, when John is asked a second time, “Who are you?” 
 I saw:  “Just who are you anyway?”
Then and now, we are often ridiculed and mocked about our faith. Those times are not fun. Whether the one asking the question is family, friend, neighbor, co-worker, or stranger, we seek to respond in a way that glorifies our Lord.
I decided to form my own answers to questions about my faith:
  • I am a child of God.
  • I’m saved by the blood of Jesus Christ.
  • I’m a follower of Jesus Christ, and that makes me a Christian.
  • I’ll one day live in Heaven.
Do you want to know how to have eternal life?
I don’t know how God made the world, but I know He did.    
God is love.
Our God is a jealous God. He craves our devotion.
While writing Firewall, I was instinctively aware of who my heroine was: a woman accused of a terrible tragedy and determined to prove her innocence. Many people wanted answers to who she really was. When she discovered Jesus, her response took on truth and purpose.
  • Do you know who you are?
  • Do others question you about your faith?
Today may be the day to define who you are and what you believe.
Leave a comment to be entered in a random drawing for a personalized copy of Firewall.
DiAnn is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She currently has more than fifty-five books in print.
Her titles have appeared on the CBA and EPCA bestsellers lists; won two Christy Awards; and have been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers' Choice and Carol award contests. DiAnn is a founding beard member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2014 president of the Romane Writrs of America's Faith, Hope, and Love chapter; and a member of Inspirational Writres Alive, Advanced Writer and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.
DiAnn is alo a craftsman mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkinns Christian Writers Guild.
She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.
Visit her website at and connect with her on Facebook Twitter (@DiAnnMills),  Pinterest, and Goodreads (


Friday, May 16, 2014

The 7 Wonders of Psalm 23: Part Five

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Psalm 23:4
This isn’t my favorite verse.
I prefer lying in green meadows beside still waters.
God fills our lives with times lying in the green meadows to strengthen us for the times we must walk.
Even though I walk…
I would be happier if David said “If I walk…”
He didn’t.
I’d prefer he said, “In case I walk…”
He didn’t say that either.
Even though…
“When I walk…”

It's a certainty of life: We all walk through times of suffering.
I prefer to crawl under the bed and tell God to let me know when the whole thing is over.
I want Him to work some miraculous deliverance - and I’ll be sure to give Him all the praise!
But, He says, “Walk.”
  • We struggle through a valley of hardship.
  • We stumble through shadows of sorrow.
  • We suffer through death: death of a dream, of a marriage, of a loved one.

 for You are with me.

No matter what, God is with us.
  • He’s our guide through the valley.
  • He’s our source of light in the shadows.
  • He’s our hope when things are falling apart around us.

He never leaves us, never forsakes us.
He might be hard to see; He’s there.
He might be hard to hear; He’s there.
Two certainties:
          We will have times of suffering.
                    He is always here.
Sandwiched between these two truths sits the choice:
I will fear no evil.
Uh-Huh. Sure. Right.
Are you kidding me?
You want me to trust You so much that I’m not afraid?
Uh-Huh. Sure. Right.
If you want me, just look for me hiding in the closet under that pile of old clothes.
It is human nature to be afraid.
It is faith nature to go to Him with our fears and ask Him for peace.
It is human nature to panic.
It is faith nature to turn to Him and ask Him to calm us.
Unfortunately, I seem to be stuck in the human-nature phase.
How do I move to the faith-nature phase?
I don't - God moves me!
  • He transforms me
  • He carries me
  • He loves me
  • Slowly He builds my faith
Keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith. Hebrews 12:2
Focus on Jesus!
Jesus will create faith within you and you will not fear for He is with you.
Walk on!!!
When has Jesus walked with you through the shadow in the valley.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The 7 Wonders of Psalm 23: Part Four

This is part four in my series on Psalm 23.
For the first post, click here.

Photo credit: Maria Orlova from

He guides me in paths of righteousness for his names sake. Psalm 23:3

There is no “The Lord is…”truth in this verse like there have been in the first two verses of the 23rd Psalm. It ends and begins with a choice. He guides, will I follow?

When we give our lives to Jesus, we begin on a journey. A journey of choices.

Paths of Righteousness

The paths of righteousness weave through our lives in two ways.

First, it’s a life choice: who will we follow, Jesus or society? Who’s wisdom will we depend on, the world’s or God’s? Who’ll be at the center of our focus, pleasing Jesus or pleasing others?

This is an easy choice to make. Of course we’ll follow Jesus, depend on His wisdom, and keep our eyes on Him. After all, He is our Savior.

Then comes real life.
Day-to-day decisions that seem so far removed from our relationship with Him. We only need Jesus’ guidance for the big decisions, right?

  • Do I really need to consult Him when I'm deciding whether to go see that movie with my friends?
  • How about the anger I carry against my coworker? I have every right to be angry!
  • Of course I laid on my horn at that idiot who cut me off the other day. He could’ve killed me!
  • Maybe I should’ve asked Him before I snapped at my husband – it really wasn’t his fault.

Why do I need Jesus to guide me on these little things?

We find the answer in the last few words of this verse:

for his name sake.

We use that word sake a lot. “I did it for her sake.”

We’re saying, “I did it to take care of her.”

But we don’t need to take care of God. He’s all-powerful, He can take care of Himself.

It’s that word name that makes all the difference.

We seek His guidance, even in the small things, to take care of His name.

We wear His name. His Spirit fills us. We represent Him to the world around us.

When we choose to stray from His path of righteousness, we take His name with us.

We reflect Him to the world around us.

Is God defined as loving by the way we treat others?

Do we present Him as faithful or forgiving?

Before you beat yourself up, remember Isreal’s King David.

A man - one who stole another man’s wife, got her pregnant, and then had her husband killed so he could have her - this man is a man after God’s own heart.

Talk about someone who ran off God’s path and smeared mud all over His name!

And yet God called David, “a man after my own heart,” (Acts 13:22).

God is all the things we struggle to be: loving, faithful, and forgiving.

You are His special treasure and His beloved child.

His desire is to teach and transform you, not to reject and punish.

Next time you stumble, turn to Him and He will guide you back to His path of righteousness.

What is your favorite character trait of God?

How is He transforming you?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The 7 Wonders of Psalm 23: Part Three

This is the third post in my series on the 7 wonders of Psalm 23. I pray this Psalm has blessed you as much as it has me.
To see the first post click here

He makes me lie down in green pastures, 
he leads me beside quiet waters Psalm 23:2

Green pastures…quiet waters.
A picture of a peaceful time with God.

Peaceful time?? How do we ever find a peaceful time in our hectic days?

Look at the first few words in this verse:

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

Make is the operative word here, friends.

And I can tell you from personal experience: If you don’t set aside a peaceful time with God, He will MAKE you.

When my girls were little, I foolishly decided that was a good time to graduate school. Needed my head examined, right?

So, there I was, spending my days as the mother of two preschool girls.

And my nights, (you know, when you supposed to sleep) pouring over books.

Time with my husband fit in there somewhere. And, in between yawns, I prepared to teach on Sunday mornings.

If God was telling me to slow down, I couldn't hear Him over the noise of train barreling down the tracks.

Then it happened: I had a seizure.

During the hours in the emergency room, God said, loud and clear.

I am making you lie down!

While the doctors tried to stabilize my medicines, I couldn't drive.
College went on the back burner.
I became a stay-at-home Mom – literally.

My home became a green pasture, although it took me a while to realize it.

God did His part – now I had to do mine.

He leads me beside still waters.

The word “lead” implies there is a follower.

That is where the choice comes in.

Would I allow Him to lead me beside still waters?

Would I follow Him into the peace and beauty of a deeper relationship with Him?

To be truthful, I griped and complained, and asked Him why He was doing this to me.

I refused to be quiet enough to hear the Living Water call me to follow Him along still waters.

Time went on. They couldn't get me stable so I kept having seizures. The time I couldn't drive stretched into a seemingly endless train of months.

Finally, when I ran out of pity-party words to say, I turned to God and asked, “What are you trying to teach me?”

He brought the words into my mind:

Green pastures.

Still waters.

Imagine lying down on the cool grass and smelling the scent of wildflowers.

Imagine listing to the quiet of still waters.

If this doesn't bring peace to your heart, you need CPR!

God asks us to spend just a few minutes letting our minds rest in His cool, beautiful presence.

He offers us sweet, quiet moments in His Word, soaking our hearts in His love and wisdom.

When I think about it, why does He have to MAKE me? Why don’t I crave that precious time?

He loves you beyond anything you can imagine.

He calls you to revel in His presence.

Choose Him and you will find peace and beauty.

How has God made you lie down?
Have you found the peace of green pastures and still waters?

Photo credit: Meadow zoomteam via
Stream pavelg via

Friday, May 2, 2014

The 7 Wonders of Psalm 23: Part Two

The Lord is my Shepherd
I shall not want. Psalm 23:1

This verse describes a beautiful truth and presents a difficult choice – all in nine words.

The Lord is my Shepherd.

An amazing truth; an unchangeable fact.
If you have accepted Jesus’ forgiveness and are building a relationship with Him, He is your Shepherd.

Most of us picture a gentle man carrying a lamb, with sheep gathered around Him.
A peaceful pastoral scene.

When is life ever peaceful?

Our Shepherd is active in our lives and interacts with us continually.
  • He provides what we need.
  • He guides us through difficult times.
  • He helps us with decisions.
  • He protects us from danger, generally by walking beside us.

Now comes the tricky part:

I will not want.

Are we ever satisfied?

Remember the old saying, “The grass is always greener…”?

I've got a great husband, nice house, a new car, great kids, two perfect grandchildren, and a dog who loves me unconditionally.


I see bigger houses and I want them.
I've always dreamed of having a Ferrari. A Ford just doesn't cut it.
I have friends who can drive over to their kid’s houses to visit the grandchildren.
I’m envious, mine live in the northeast and I want them to be closer.

I want what I don’t have!

What does it mean to say, "I will not want."?

  • I choose to be satisfied with what He provides, no matter how small.
  • I choose to accept His guidance, though I might not agree.
  • I choose to follow where He leads, though I might wish to go elsewhere.
  • I choose to trust His protection, though things around me are frightening.

I will not want.

These four words mean that we choose to want nothing besides what He gives.

We choose to desire nothing but Him.

I’ll be the first to admit, I’ll never accomplish this.
The lure of the world will always hover around me.

Even so, we can trust our Shepherd.

  • He will never withdraw His protection.
  • He won't leave us without guidance.
  • He strengthens us and helps us to follow Him closer each day.
  • He loves us and will continue to call us to His side.

The Shepherd never leaves His sheep.

What does it mean to you that Jesus is your Shepherd?

Check out the Life to the Fullest blog for a post by Robin Patchen  Contentment for The Moment

Shepherd photo courtesy
Horse photo courtesy  Steven Heap via